System Administration Guide: Network Interfaces and Network Virtualization

Considerations for Working With Link Names

After you install the Solaris OS, your system's network links retain their original hardware-based names, such as bge0 or ce0. However, in the new network implementation, these link names are no longer bound to their associated hardware. You can replace the link names with names that are more meaningful within the context of your network environment. Interface configurations are then performed by using the link names.

Before you change link names, note the following important considerations.

Replacing Hardware-Based Link Names

If your system's links have hardware-based names, rename these links with at least neutral names. If you retain the hardware-based names of the links, confusion might arise in later situations where these physical devices are removed or replaced.

For example, you retain the link name bge0 that is associated with the device bge0. All link configurations are performed by referring to the link name. Later, you might replace the NIC bge with the NIC ce. To reapply the former device's link configuration to the new NIC ce0, you would need to reassign the link name bge0 to ce0. The combination of a hardware-based link name bge0 with a different associated NIC ce0 can cause confusion. By using names that are not hardware-based, you can better distinguish the links from the associated devices.

Caution About Changing Link Names

Replacing hardware-based link names is recommended. However, you must plan carefully before you rename links. Prior to the installation of the Solaris release, your system might already have other configurations that are associated with the NIC's hardware-based name. Changing the device's link name does not automatically propagate the new name to all associated configurations. The following examples illustrate the risks when you change link names:

Thus, as a general rule, do not rename data links randomly. When renaming data links, ensure that all of the link's associated configurations continue to apply after the link name is changed. Some of the configurations that might be affected by renaming links are as follows:

When to Rename Links

The following describe circumstances when renaming links can be usefully applied: